Amputating limbs under hudud law violates medical regulations, says MMA

BY IDA NADIRAH IBRAHIM
Ravindran said the basic rule is to follow the medical profession’s Hippocratic Oath, as well as the statement by the World Health Organisation — that the duty of physicians is to save people and not do harm. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 — The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) backed the Health Ministry today in objecting to Kelantan’s proposed recruitment of surgeons to carry out the hudud punishment of amputation of limbs.

MMA president Dr Ravindran R. Naidu said the basic rule is to follow the medical profession’s Hippocratic Oath, as well as the statement by the World Health Organisation — that the duty of physicians is to save people and not do harm.

“We are supposed to save people from illnesses and injuries, not harm them, and this is our stance.

“This should be applicable to all registered doctors in Malaysia,” he told Malay Mail when contacted today.

This was in response to the Kelantan deputy mentri besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah who reportedly said recently that the PAS state government would study Qatar’s implementation of hudud, a harsh Islamic penal code, suggesting that surgeons execute the hand amputation punishment.

When asked what sort of action can be taken against a medical practitioner who chooses to proceed with the act, Dr Ravindran said the MMA was not a regulatory body.

He said the regulating body to impose any action was the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC).

“Should someone lodge a complaint to the MMC or the Health Ministry, then they would have to take action as it goes against all the regulations of medical practices,” he said.

Earlier today, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, who is also the MMC president, cited the medical maxim, “first, do no harm,” in response to the Kelantan government’s proposal for surgeons to amputate limbs under hudud law.

“We must not violate our professional oath of doing no harm to the human body. As stated ‘Primum non nocere’ which means ‘first, do no harm’,” Dr Noor Hisham posted on Facebook as he shared a Free Malaysia Today report headlined “Muslim docs say no to punitive amputation.”